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SUNY Poly to Train Workers for New Chip-Making Facilities

With a $397,000 state grant, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute will train custodians, technicians, engineers and managers needed to operate high-tech buildings.

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Credit: SUNY Polytechnic Institute Facebook page
(TNS) — SUNY Polytechnic Institute's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) has received $397,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to train the next generation of custodians, technicians, engineers, and managers for the high-tech buildings that house chip-making facilities and labs for developing computer chips.

The grant will help to train on-site employees and to develop a regional training hub for Building Operations and Maintenance that will utilize a "digital twin" of the Building Management System and the Energy Monitoring System that operate the Zero Energy Nano or ZEN smart building that houses the school.

This "ZEN Smart PATH" project will build upon millions of dollars in prior investments in technical skills for technicians, engineers, and managers.

"This support ... aims to provide students and those currently in the workplace access to highly relevant training to further catalyze the success of New York State's semiconductor-focused ecosystem," said SUNY Poly Acting President Tod Laursen.

"NYSERDA is thrilled to support SUNY Polytechnic Institute so that it can offer hands on training to students and existing workers to develop the specific skills needed within Building Operations and Maintenance to further smart building technology innovation," added NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris.

The ZEN building, completed in 2015 and located at the Albany NanoTech Complex, is a 356,000-square-foot facility that serves as a living laboratory for smart building technology innovation and workforce development in data science, facility operations, and clean energy technologies. ZEN Smart PATH is a multi-year project that will train more than 100 on-site and regional partner employees by utilizing multiple data science platforms tailored for careers in facility operations.

Using a combination of training simulators, use cases and data system platforms, ZEN Smart PATH will help establish clear "career pathways" for equipment technicians and engineers. Additionally, the program will employ cloud-based information systems to monitor more than 5,000 data points in real-time, including financial performance related to the hundreds of systems used to operate the air handling, power management, demand load, heating and chilling systems, among many others in these buildings.

They also will develop training simulators for selected functions such as handling chilled water to help technicians understand complex systems in the ZEN and similar buildings.

Just as pilots train for various flight scenarios, these simulators will train facility personnel to examine how their decisions impact the various building systems.

The school will also aim to train an additional 175 people through its regional hub serving industry partners, in addition to regional chip fab operators and transitioning Fort Drum veterans.

©2022 the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.